UPDATE 10:20am – The body of one fisherman was found by police in the water off Cape Jaffa this morning.
Police received a report of an overturned 5.8 metre half-cab boat about 9 kilometres offshore from Cape Jaffa just before 1pm yesterday.
The boat was located just after 4pm.
A search was launched yesterday afternoon with the assistance of SES volunteers and professional crayfishing vessels, along with a Challenger search and rescue jet from The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to try to locate the missing fishermen, aged 84 and 72.
The search resumed at first light this morning in rough weather and, sadly, the body of one of the fishermen has been located.
The operation to recover the man’s body and the overturned vessel is continuing, in conjunction with a search for the outstanding fisherman.
Officers from SAPOL’s Water Operations Unit along with the police helicopter are coordinating today’s search operation.
A SEARCH to find two elderly fisherman missing off the coast of Cape Jaffa will resume this morning after their vessel was found capsized yesterday afternoon.
A 72-year-old man from Pinks Beach and an 84-year-old man from Kingston were reported missing at around 1pm yesterday after they failed to return to shore.
The men were last seen at around 7am when they departed the wharf and their 5.8m fibreglass boat was located at around 4pm, nine kilometres offshore.
Limestone Coast Police officer in charge Superintendent Phil Hoff said there were “no signs of life” near the overturned boat.
“It is important to maintain a positive attitude when conducting these searches to have any chance of a successful recovery,” Supt Hoff said.
“However as time goes on the likelihood of them being found deceased increases.”
“When we located the boat it was vertical and appeared to have a rope attached to something on the bottom – we suspect it is a cray pot.”
Police divers will be deployed this morning to search the ocean floor around the location where the boat was found yesterday.
“Everyone is being briefed this morning and we also have PolAir, Fisheries SA and State Emergency Service involved in the search,” Supt Hoff said.
“Police secured the vessel last night and marked it with buoys, so search efforts could continue this morning.”
Supt Hoff said the search had to be abandoned yesterday evening at around 7.30pm due to deteriorating weather and sea conditions.
“When conditions are as they were last night, you can not effectively conduct a search operation like this,” he said.
“Conditions are better this morning, however are expected to worsen again in the afternoon.”
Supt Hoff said it is a developing situation with more information coming to hand as the search progresses.
“They are local people who are generally back on shore a couple of hours after they depart and we weren’t alerted until 1pm, so there is a reasonable window where the boat could have overturned,” he said.
“We found a couple of items that may or may not be from the vessel around nine nautical miles from where it was located.”
The search will continue today with Police Sergeant Rick Errington coordinating those involved in the rescue operation.